One Change Missing

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Sen. John McCain authors this piece for Newsweek entitled "How to Clean Up The Mess" about addressing Americans' distrust in the electoral process and belief that special interests control Washington. Interestingly enough, in three pages of proposed reforms he doesn't mention public financing of elections.

McCain's proposals aren't bad ones, but they eat around the edge of the problem without addressing the core need: we need to give candidates an incentive to raise money from small donors, and we need to ensure candidates can have sufficient resources to run good campaigns without taking special interest money. The best way we have to do that is the Clean Elections public financing model -- something that McCain has enthusiastically endorsed in his home state of Arizona but is strangely opposed to at the federal level.

John McCain is correct when he writes "[e]lections should be contests of candidates' ideas, ability and character -- not a test of fundraising skill" but for that to happen -- while still allowing candidates the resources they need to run a competitive race -- we need to pass public financing legislation for all federal races.